It’s October the 1st already.
The garden centres have put the BBQs away and the Christmas decorations are up in store. Yesterday I planted my winter hanging baskets.
Winter is coming, but more important is transfer deadline day is also coming, at least for international transfers.
The transfer window for international slams shut at 11pm on Monday October 5th. However domestic deals can still be made up until 5pm on the 16th of October.
It has been a well written story that Arsenal have too many players.
As it stands, we have 33 first team squad players listed on the website. More importantly than that is we currently have 19 non-home grown players.
We can only register 17 of those.
So players need to be sold, but players also need to be signed.
We are still a Thomas Partey and / or an Houssem Aouar from having a really good team.
Arsenal need to sell to buy. Not just to raise funds but also to free up the squad space – leaving players unregistered is not an option due to contractual issues that could arise.
So what do we expect to happen in the next few days (internationally) and weeks (domestically)?
Sead Kolasinac looks like he is out the door, off to Bayer Leverkusen. By the time this is published he might be gone.
He was rated as one of the best left backs in Germany, having been named in the Bundesliga team of the year in the season before joining Arsenal.
Following Kolasinac out of the door will be Lucas Torreira.
His move to Atletico Madrid will be rubber stamped.
Atlético want a loan with an obligation to buy, whilst Arsenal want a straight sale.
What might happen is a loan with an obligation to buy next season will be agreed, but at slightly higher than what Arsenal want for a transfer this summer.
Arsenal then might use a factoring company to get instant access to next summers transfer fee.
The departure of both will bring Arsenal’s squad size down to 31, and non-home grown contingent to 17. Bang on where we’d need to be.
Whilst you might think “Arsenal still need to sell to buy” there is a school of thought that the club have already written off the futures of Sokratis and Mesut Ozil.
Come deadline day, Arsenal will be happy to sell Sokratis for free, and accept a loan deal for Mesut Ozil where they continue to pay the majority of his wages for the rest of the season.
Both of these deals will probably happen quickly on deadline day as clubs look to take advantage of Arsenal having too many players.
Napoli have already tried to sign Sokratis for nothing. Arsenal rejected the deal but come Monday they will have no choice but to sign off on it.
With Ozil, the club would prefer to ship him out to a side that pays a big chunk of his wages. But the lore he becomes unwanted by Mikel Arteta, and the more Arsenal need rid to bring the squad numbers in line, the less a loaning club would be expected to contribute.
Do not be surprised to see him go to Turkey (or even join Kolasinac at Leverkusen), with Arsenal still paying £250-300k of his weekly wage.
There are 38 weeks left on Ozil’s contract. Arsenal’s fall liability would be around £13.3m. If we can get that done to just £10m, we’d have done well.
Sokratis leaving would also save the club £3.5m in wages, whilst Kolasinac & Torreira leaving frees up a further £7.5m. £11m in total.
Following Kolasinac & Torreira leaving, expect the club to move quickly for Auoar.
With Arsenal mentally writing Sokratis and Ozil off, we do not need to sell them before signing Auoar. The Frenchman can be signed with the two unwanted lads dumped on deadline day.
Deadline day is when we will move for Thomas Partey.
Kolasinac, Torreira, Sokratis & Ozil sold, with Aouar in would leave Arsenal at 16 non home-grown players.
If Arsenal pay the release clause for Partey, they do not need to negotiate with Atlético Madrid. It is just a case of taking the money to the Spanish FA HQ which in turn triggers that release clause. It will be a deal done quickly.
Calum Chambers and Shkodran Mustafi’s injuries have proved to be a hit of a headache for Arsenal this summer.
With the likes of West Ham, Fulham, Crystal Palace & Newcastle desperate for a centre back, both would have had plenty of interest if they were fit. But no one will take a risk with their injuries
Neither are expected to be fully match fit until the end of October. That is just 8 weeks before the winter window opens.
I would be very surprised if either leaves before January, but we might see a club like Fulham take the risk on Chambers and sign him prior to the October 16th domestic deadline. Expect another loan deal with an obligation to buy next summer for him.
As for Mustafi, expect a “Cedric deal” to be done with him in January.
This year Arsenal signed Cedric on loan, with an agreement for him to join permanently from Southampton in the summer when his contract expired.
Do not be surprised if Lazio or someone else takes Mustafi on loan for the 2nd half of the season, and he later joins that club when his Arsenal contract expires in the summer.
Arsenal would benefit from his wages being paid by someone else for the 2nd half of the season.
Matteo Guendouzi could leave if a big enough hid comes in for him. If not he will stay.
If Arsenal do secure Partey and Aouar, expect Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock to be loaned out to Premier League clubs – although these deals will happen closer to the 16th October.
So in summary, we do we predict:
Torreira LOAN with obligation to buy
Auoar to be SIGNED
Sokratis to be SOLD for free on transfer deadline day
Ozil to be loaned out on transfer deadline day, Arsenal paying the majority of his wage
Partey to be SIGNED on deadline day
Chambers to leave on LOAN with an obligation to buy prior to October 16th
Mustafi towable on LOAN in January. He will join that club on a free transfer next summer
Willock and Smith Rowe to go out on LOAN closer to October 16th
We will keep track of our predictions and let you know how we get on.